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Curtis Summerfest Thrives Online

Three programs are offered online in Summer 2020.

During the summer, musicians experience the Curtis Institute of Music’s “learn by doing” philosophy in immersive, intensive, and focused programs. In 2020, three of Curtis Summerfest’s signature offerings have moved online. The Summerfest Harp Colony, Sphinx Performance Academy at Curtis Summerfest, and the Young Artist Summer Program have created robust and immersive learning experiences, including private lessons, studio and master classes, individual solo performances, musical studies classes, professional development sessions, and virtual hangouts—all online. 

Elizabeth Hainen performs over ZoomCurtis Summerfest Harp Colony

In early June, 17 harpists gathered virtually for a week of online master classes as part of this advanced training ground for the world’s next generation of professional harpists. The colony is a true pedagogical institution, with emphasis on individual development for promising young harpists as well as professionals. Distinguished faculty Elizabeth Hainen (pictured left) and Judy Loman (Harp ’56) led an intensive week of orchestral training through a mock audition, daily master classes, and enrichment workshops. Students learned about recording themselves at home, and received feedback on both pre-recorded and live performing.

Participants presented a final recital for friends and family on Facebook. Watch online.

Sphinx Performance Academy at Curtis SummerfestSPA participants on Zoom meeting

This full-scholarship performance program, with a focus on cultural diversity, is held each summer for string musicians ages 11–17. The curriculum includes private lessons, master classes, recitals, career enrichment sessions, and mentorship tailored to each student and embracing SPA’s values of excellence, intensive learning, and supportive community building. SPA seeks to actively recruit and engage students from cultural backgrounds that are underrepresented in the field of classical music. In 2020, 32 Black and Latinx string players are participating in the online session.

Check out their activities on Instagram

String players laughingYoung Artist Summer Program

The Young Artist Summer Program (YASP) is an online teaching festival in 2020. Advanced musicians ages 13 to 22 gather virtually from July 11 through August 1 for a reimagined curriculum that remains focused on Curtis’s core values of excellence, diversity, and musical leadership. Individual instruction from eminent YASP faculty, many of whom are Curtis alumni with thriving pedagogical or performance careers, remains at the core of the festival’s structure. An impressive lineup of master classes will occur online and each instrument studio will focus on themed projects. For this online session, YASP was able to double its enrollment, reduce tuition costs, and support expanded student access to required technology.

YASP faculty have been sharing their excitement for the upcoming program on Instagram.